The learning curve for robot-assisted total mesorectal excision for rectal cancer

Young Wan Kim, Hak Min Lee, Nam Kyu Kim, Byung Soh Min, Kang Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


We evaluated the learning curve for achieving expertise in robotic rectal cancer surgery based primarily on operative time and short-term outcomes. Sixty-two consecutive patients with rectal cancer underwent robot surgery (abdominoperineal excision n=1, low anterior resection n=50, ultra-low anterior resection n=10, Hartmann operation n=1). Robotic cases were grouped by consecutive 10 cases. There were 48 cases of mid and low rectal tumor (preoperative chemoradiation n=9). Mean operative time was 390 minutes and postoperative complication rate was 12.9%. Robotic surgery for mid and low rectal tumors was commonly performed after 10 cases. The operative time and console time of robot surgery showed first decrease after 20 cases. There were no differences in postoperative complications including anastomosis leakage, lymph node count, and distal margin between the learning periods. An experienced open surgeon with limited laparoscopy experience may begin to perform robotic rectal surgery safely without a long learning period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-405
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Laparoscopy, Endoscopy and Percutaneous Techniques
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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